Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Well, this is a first. I'm going to attempt posting from my phone. I'm in Denver for the week and by the time I get home, New Year's will be old news.

Last night I attended my first ever yoga session. It went pretty well. I enjoyed the peacefulness of the beautiful space it was held in, the dim lighting, the calming voice of the instructor, the music, and most of all that I didn't make a fool of myself while doing basic stretch poses. Read: I didn't fart!

I've been thinking about my 'word' for 2020 and it was so obvious to me about a month ago that I started practicing it by declaring Sundays as a day of rest. Yeah, I know, it's not a new idea.


Many reading this may not have trouble relaxing but it has been an ongoing challenge for me. I wasted time in my earlier years. An astronomical amount of time. Relaxing has not been a word in my vocabulary all that long. When I finally woke up (circa 2001) to the reality of where my life choices had taken me, I was set on a path to start really living vs. being a feather in the wind. There was no time to waste.

I'm just now learning that relaxing is not wasted time. Being a self-admitted slow learner, I'm here to say it is my mission this year to slow my roll and relax a bit.

    . . . . .

We moved to Arizona in October. We have neighbors on both sides of us. My 87 year old aunt to the right, and a sweet older couple from Montana on the left. I have recently become a student of growing older and these people are teachers to me, and they don't even know it.

Aunt G starts her days early, often going to exercise class, then she sometimes drives seniors to doctor appointments or to the store for groceries. She squeezes in some golf dates, and in between she tends a few flowers and enjoys sitting outside (weather permitting) at 4pm daily. She seems to always be in motion but it seems to be at a relaxed pace.

I often spot my Montana neighbor sitting in his easy chair while reading a book. I've taken note that he sits for hours reading what must be riveting words. I marvel at his tenacity in holding down that chair. I want whatever he has for chair glue. I sit down to read and I am distracted in 100 ways. Can you relate to this?

I've given a lot of thought to ways I can practice relaxing. Writing, reading, walking, cooking, a little cleaning, napping, phone calls to loved ones. Rinse & repeat.

The main thing is I need to not fill my calendar with too many things. And, I need to quit thinking of "relax" as a dirty word. Ya know? I have some extremely deep seated ideas that have been hard to overcome. No blame here, just the facts.

What about you? Do you have a word for 2020? Tell me!

love, susan

Friday, December 13, 2019



My aunt turned 87 this week and we celebrated yesterday with dinner at a mutual friends' house. I have been working on my listening skills. It came in handy last night as there were 8 people at the party and 4 conversations going on all at once for about 3 hours. That's a lot of numbers in one paragraph, huh.
This last year I have been challenged after being diagnosed with presbylarynx. Google says this about it: "Presbylarynx is a condition in which age-related atrophy of the soft tissues of the larynx results in weak voice and restricted vocal range and stamina. In other words, it is the loss of vocal fold tone and elasticity due to aging which affects voice quality."
Old lady voice. Let's be real. It doesn't hurt but it is irritating. When I'm in a room full of talking people, I can't really respond if I have to project my voice over other noises. It makes it difficult to call my dogs in. If I had to yell right now to save my life, this would be my last blog post. I went to see a speech therapist last year and she gave me a lot of great advice for living with this condition. Developing the habits I need to keep my voice from getting worse is a challenge. Basically, I'd rather just not talk. So, I listen. It doesn't make the condition go away but the point is that I don't want it to get worse. Plus, I learn so much when I listen.
Back to last night. We heard some great stories from everyone in the room. My cousin and her hubs made a trip to Phoenix recently and there was a great story about trying to catch an old fashioned taxi cab to and from a basketball game (Oregon Ducks vs. Arizona State). Their dilemma was only made worse by them having to see the Oregon Ducks lose a game while being seated in an Arizona State fan club area. If you know any Ducks fans, you'd know they dress in a fashion so that no one can make any mistake who they are rooting for. Can you imagine having to sit with the rival team fans? Me neither. LOL! Later, my cousin's hubs told a story about going out for a walk here in Yuma the first time he visited, not knowing how awful dark it gets and the fact that we don't have street lights out in our neighborhood ... well ... he got lost and ended up sitting at the closed grocery store ALL NIGHT until the sun came up. (I should add here that laughing hysterically also causes me problems with my vocal chords, so I have to keep my laughter in check. Not easy with this crowd.)
We also learned that my aunt's family moved to Oregon from Nebraska due to the great depression. We had a nice discussion about wringer washers, outhouses, and life without electricity. These are the things that stuck with me. There was so much more but lately I am able to hold on to only a certain number of memories.
Well, now I've come to the end of my post. One of my fellow bloggers wrote a nice post this week and it prompted me to sit still long enough to write this. I'm having a terrible time getting back to writing but I am terribly grateful for the times like last night that give me a whole lot of things to think about.
I'll close this with a question: Can you listen to 3 or 4 conversations at the same time?
love, susan

Sunday, December 1, 2019

December: This and That

Hello friends. Just checking in and making sure I still know how to type. I have been a slacker in all things lately, writing most of all. Journaling has gone to the wayside, photography has been minimal. For no particular reason, I've been like a ship with no rudder since we moved to Arizona. At least, it feels that way.
We've been here 6 weeks now. Those first couple of weeks were filled with too many things to do. Besides getting the water and electricity switched over, there was getting our medical records transferred, dental appointments for the hubs, property business, finding a new hairdresser, etc. Every day I've had things to do. I got my library card renewed, found some new thrift stores, signed up to volunteer at Helping Hands, and developed a walking route with my youngest dog.
Remi and Missy
This last week, our old girl, Missy, has gone downhill in health. She's not eating and is moving very slowly. I suspect she is in the process of dying. The best we can figure, she is about 14 years old. She is still drinking water and holding her bowels but last night she threw up at 2am. She is preferring to lay outside by herself these days. I have been remembering an old German shepherd we had when I lived in Fairbanks. He was a great family dog who never strayed from home but when it was time to die, he took off. We never found him. I remember my parents saying that sometimes dogs do that, they go somewhere quiet to die. I'd like to think Missy just wants some quiet time to think about her life and die in peace. Is it awful that I wish for her to simply slip over to the Rainbow Bridge in her sleep? I have bouts of sadness thinking about life without her but I also know this is part of the deal.
This week I have two volunteer transports for Helping Hands. I pick up elderly people and take them to doctor appointments. I am also helping set up a huge yard sale for Helping Hands ... 1,250 tables of stuff. It takes a week to set up this giant fundraiser. They put me in "knickknacks" to help. I'm pretty sure I'm the youngest volunteer there, which is inspiring. Old people helping old people. It's pretty cool! The best part of this organization is that they have a singleness of purpose and they are very good at what they do. I'll write more about that in a post this month.
Well, that's about it for now. I am 13 days away from going to meet my new grandbaby in Denver. Can I just tell you how hard it has been to not be a future tripper? I am not able to share photos just yet because the adoption process is not complete. I can tell you that LP (little person) is thriving and just may be the cutest baby on the planet!
And, oh, the house in Washington sold and we closed early last week. What a relief to check that off the "to do" list.
Final thought before I close ... I've been trying to reel in my thoughts but it hasn't worked so far. I'm glad to be back in the land of warmer weather and blue skies. I am amazed at how busy I have stayed since moving here. I spend a lot of time outdoors watching the hummingbirds come and go. It's all good.
love, susan

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Downsizing: Halfway to a Tiny Home

💗 We are almost one month at our new space and I finally have a few minutes to write. One of my friends has been asking for pictures of our new home so I thought I'd put them here for my journal's sake. 💗 First of all, if you have not followed me before, let me catch you up. We recently moved back to Yuma, Arizona after having been away for 11 years. Moving back, we cut our living space in half (908 sq ft). 💗 I truly don't have a desire to live in a tiny home but I can see how some could enjoy it if they were outdoor people or working opposite shifts. This house we're in now has plenty of places to get away from a nagging spouse. Me. I'm the nagging spouse. 💗 There is a casita behind the house and an outdoor space for the hubs to keep his table saw along with three small sheds for tools and whatnots.  There is what the previous owners called the outdoor living room which has a table and chairs for outdoor activities like eating and reading the newspaper. The casita has proven to be a great place for me to hide away for an afternoon nap. My dogs love the floor in there and I can watch TV in between snores. It has a bathroom and makes a very nice guest room. They are not pictured here. 💗 The story with this house is that my Uncle Milt and his second wife, Peggy, owned it until my uncle died. Peggy remarried and her new hubs already had a place about 20 miles from here so they sold this place to the nicest people, who recently sold it to us. It was a turnkey property so we didn't have to bring one piece of furniture with us. As a matter of fact, there was more furniture and "stuff" here than I cared to have so I have been paring it down as time allows. One of the local charities  has pickup service and they've already picked up 14+ boxes of stuff the owner left behind. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't love dust collectors so they have gone on to be loved by someone else, and the dollars will go to a great  organization.💗 My favorite thing about this house besides the reduced size is the open ceilings. I hope you can see from the photos the open ceilings are throughout (except for the bathroom) this small home, which makes air flow like you would not believe! The other thing I love more than life itself is the tiled floors and the Pergo flooring in the living room. Vacuuming and mopping the entire house takes less than 30 minutes. Another nice feature is the propane fireplace. Believe it or not, it does get cold enough in December, January, February that people turn the heat on at night. 💗 My dogs have adjusted better than I anticipated. They bark far less than in our previous digs. It occurs to me as I write this that because of the open fencing, they can see people walking by rather than only hearing them. They love to find a nice spot either in the shade near me or in the back corner of the lot to lay and watch the property. Two of my fur kids are cattle dogs and in my mind there are imaginary cows to watch. Instinct is strong. 💗 I will write another post soon to include the outdoor living space and casita. I spend a great deal of time outdoors, which is exactly what I pictured before we moved. Loving this space! More about Yuma to come.   love, susan

Living room/Gene's computer space
Hallway from living room to dining/kitchen

Dining room/my computer space



open air ceiling

this space in bedroom was cut out to allow more air flow

on the other side of this wall is the bedroom

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Back in the Day: Lukewarm Coffee

This week I had a fun interaction with my daughter-in-law that led me down a rabbit hole for a while. She and my son are new parents. It's been a long time since I was responsible for a tiny new life and things have changed so much in 35 years. One great invention that is often overlooked (I'm sure) is the thermal coffee cup. Back in the day, when I was a young mother, I had to learn to drink my coffee lukewarm. It never failed that I would sit down to enjoy my first cup and my son would have needs. Babies are so high maintenance. Back in the day, we didn't have insulated, metal coffee mugs. I sat here wondering why such a great idea took so long to develop. I'm always thinking that all a person needs to become a multi-millionaire is one great idea. Right? Whoever invented these was a genius and my personal hero.
There are so many other new great inventions. The kids made a wish list on Amazon and I chose to buy them a very high-tech electronic baby swing. It's the same one baby is accustomed to at the hospital and I want them to have anything that's going to make life easier. Of course, it has an app. They can program a whole bunch of stuff to customize it to exactly what baby loves, including music. Back in the day, we struggled to find the sweet spot in every situation. These new fandangle pieces of equipment take the guess work out. Back in the day, we had to get up out of our comfortable napping spot and wind the swing again if we were to have any peace at all. I'm not sure if new parents realize how much they are missing out on the click click click of those old wind up swings. I now wonder if the sudden ceasing of that now-not-so-soothing noise is what caused baby to wake up out of a dead sleep. Why? Why? Why did it take so long for technology?
I'm excited to go visit before the new year not only to see my new grandbaby but to check out how millennials are doing parenting these days. I can hardly wait! But in the meantime, I'll be thinking about all the great things we have nowadays that make life a little easier for parents. 
love, susan

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saturday Upsides: A Simpler Life

Last night we said so long to the old Honda Silver Wing. I said good riddance under my breath. My hubs has had this bike for a very long time and it has been sitting in the corner of the garage ever since I met him 18 years ago. I went for a ride twice on it before something went wrong that never got repaired. Earlier in the week, I thought I had another home for it, but the guy who was going to trade landscaping services flaked out on me. I fired him. That's a first for me. The upside is that today I have the ability to recognize bullshit when I see it and I called it. The hubs was happier with this deal because he got a little jingle in his pocket.
Later this week, I hired a neighbor's girlfriend to help me with the landscaping. She's a freakin' work horse and together we're getting it done. With every rock I move, and every hot shower to wash the dirt off, I am convinced we are heading in the right direction. We are moving to almost exactly half the living space we have now. No garage. No lawn to mow. Low, low, low maintenance.
I have been longing for a simpler life. It's complicated and physically challenging right now as move towards it but as I was telling a friend last night, we have experiences that we tuck under our belt so that when things get hard, we can say we've been through worse. I've been through much worse than this move, trust me on that.
What are you moving towards? What experience do you pull from to get you through current hard spots?  Tell me.
love, susan

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


WHAT'S THE FORECAST ... numbers this week are 94, 99, 93, 96, 97. I love this time of year. It's cool in the mornings and it takes all day to get to the high temp. Fall is in the leaves already.
MY FAVORITE MOMENT FROM LAST WEEK ... We drove to Yuma to look at the house we are buying. It was a quick trip but I really enjoyed the afternoon with my aunt, and the next day I got to spend time with my cousin in her pool. I think time in the pool during the summer is my favorite thing to do. I also took an overnight trip over to Portland and spent a little time with the grandkids. Dinner at Carl's Jr. with the youngest was treasured time.
WHAT'S RIGHT IN THE WORLD ... Well, we're getting things cleaned out and some stuff has gone to the thrift store, a bunch of camping gear went to a good friend who has 3 kids, one motorcycle should be rehomed tomorrow.
WHAT I'M RESISTING ... Quite frankly, I have to resist blowing my top every day while we are in this transition period of moving. I've been through many moves before so I know it is stressful and I just need to remember to do what is right in front of me. I am resisting future tripping. It's all going to be okay.
WHAT I'M THINKING ... I have had a lot of race brain lately. Lots of appointments on my schedule. A lot to think about. I have started saying no to social engagements because my time to get stuff done is dwindling. I always hate missing out on fun things so I won't say no to everything but will be selective in how I use my time from now until we move. I am amazed at how busy I have been since my last day of work.
Yuma, AZ sunset
WHAT'S ON MY CAMERA ... I went out early (6:00am) to photograph a friend and her family. She had a great idea for props and posing. It was fun and I was glad to do it for her. Tomorrow I am doing some puppy photos for the animal rescue team. It will be my last shoot for them.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS ...  I'm not sad we won't be spending another winter here. I look forward to warmer, sunnier weather on a daily basis. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Winter visitors. Old friends. Zero seasonal affective disorder.
IF THIS IS MY LAST DAY, MY FINAL THOUGHT IS ... I am going to try to be nicer  today. I have been on edge a lot and it's not how I want to be. I wouldn't want my last day to be like it has been lately ... me yelling at my hubs over stupid shit. Life should be enjoyed every day. I'm glad I'm writing this now so I can change my attitude before the day gets rolling.

love, susan

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday Stealing

Just got back from a long week of road tripping. Feeling like writing but not much energy so I'm going to do a little Sunday Stealing.  You can play here.

1. Has anyone ever made fun of your taste in music?
Well, yes. My hubs. Ask me if I care? I love me some Prince and I'm not about to apologize for that.

2. Is anyone’s birthday coming up?

Probably. I can barely keep track of what day it is.  Happy birthday if it's yours.

3. Do you remember who you liked in grade eight?

Bill Busby.  He was the first boy who ever kissed me.

4. When was the last time you burned any part of your body?

Recently got a little sunburned. Sometimes I miss a spot with the sunscreen.

5. If I gave you ten dollars, what would you spend it on?

Without hesitation, it would be a coffee. And, I'd buy you a cup, too!

6. What are you most excited about right now?

I have a new grandson.

7. Does / did either of your parents serve in the military?

My dad was in the Navy. He only did one tour but he spoke fondly of his experience in the Korean war.

8. Are you somewhat of a perfectionist?

I like to think not. I do, however, like to have things done the way I want them done. Does that count?

9. Do you like sour candy?

I do love sour patch candy. It makes my mouth water just typing those words.

10. Are all nighters something you have grown used to?

Absolutely not. I'm an early to bed, early to rise kind of girl.

11. Do you usually wear sunglasses when you’re driving?

Always. The eye doc says I have a little bit of damage to my retinas from the sun and encourages me to always wear sunglasses outdoors, and so should you.

12. Do you wear your shoes around the house?

No.  You should see how dirty my feet are. It's a badge of honor and an embarrassment at the same time. I was born barefoot.

13. What clothes are you most comfortable in?
Sleeveless loose top and baggy shorts.

14. Are you good at painting nails?

Not at all.

15. Smoothies or slushies?

Neither but if I have to choose, it would be smoothy.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Currently: Thriving

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW ... There has been a hint of fall in the early mornings here in eastern Washington. Temps this week are 93, 97, 98, 89, 94. My favorite part of August is when the fennel in my back yard gives off a licorice aroma. Mmmm.
MY FAVORITE MOMENT FROM LAST WEEK ... I had a lot of favorites but probably my most memorable are the photos I am receiving from my son and daughter-in-law of their new son. The updates are that he is gaining about an ounce daily. And, this week we got to see his beautiful head and hair because they took his cap off. He is thriving. I cannot say that enough times. I love that word.
WHAT'S RIGHT IN MY WORLD ... Well, our real estate agent came over Friday to take photos for listing our house. She commented that I had taken her advice to heart by cleaning up my closet spaces for the photos. She likes to show storage space. She has sold 204 houses in her 10 year career and is one of the most down to earth people I've ever met. Our listing goes up Sept. 5. Trudy, if you are reading this, I'll be a distant neighbor soon! It's really happening.
WHAT I'M RESISTING ... I am trying hard to not future trip. We are in Arizona this week looking at a house to buy. The tentative plan is to pack up and move in mid October ... finally. I have been resisting perfection lately. Getting my house is order for others to come see has produced some stress. I always think I have it under control but then, and I know this is too much information, I end up with horrible hemorrhoids. Some people lose their hair, I get the Big H. Keeping it real, folks.
WHAT I'M THINKING ... I remember when we got ready to move to Washington, we worked hard on our place and the last thing I did was hire a friend to come and clean it. I remember thinking, "Gosh, this place looks nice enough to live in." While cleaning out stuff this time, I have been thinking that I am glad I started minimizing my stuff two years ago. Even doing that, I still have too much stuff. I am tired of being a slave to it. How many sweatshirts does a girl need? I have taken bags upon bags of stuff to the community thrift store. We are downsizing in house space. There is no room for junk.
WHAT'S ON MY CAMERA ... I haven't been out with my camera much this summer. I use my cell phone a lot. I'm hoping to get some good shots while on the road trip this week.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS ... I have been super busy this summer and I suspect I won't be slowing down until November. Trying to keep my feet planted in today.
IF THIS IS MY FINAL DAY, HERE IS MY FINAL THOUGHT ... My new grandson is in my constant thought and I can't wait to meet him. If I never get to meet him, I have loved him already. My heart is full. And, somebody please take care of my dogs.
love, susan

Monday, August 12, 2019


Outside My Window ...  we had clouds and rain yesterday, which is unusual for this time of year. It did clear up in the afternoon and today is a most beautiful day in eastern Washington. Temps this week are 84, 85, 93, 91, and 87. Not too bad.
Pondering ... we got some great news last week that I can now share. My son and daughter-in-law have been in an adoption pool just a little under a year now. They were supposed to leave for a trip to South Africa yesterday but early last week they were chosen to become parents to a newborn baby boy. Naturally, they cancelled their trip. Baby was born prematurely and won't be able to leave the hospital NICU until October but they are going to visit him every day from now until then. Because of the pending adoption, I am unable to share photos but I can tell you that he is beautiful and it's just about all I can think about right now. Dreams do come true.
Watching ... while I am dog sitting for good friends, I am continuing watching Orange is the New Black on Netlfix. I'm in Season 3 right now. I have 3 more days of dog sitting and I think I'm going to make it through the rest of the seasons. I have tenacity.
Reading/Listening ... I picked up where I left off on the book called Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon. It is heavy. That's about all I can say about it right now. I've got many books on my Audible app that I need to listen to. I think I'll start listening to books rather than podcasts on my future walks because a) I'm using up too much data when I listen to the podcasts, and b) I need to listen to the books I paid for already. I discontinued my membership in Audible for the time being because I've got enough books to last me for months.
Podcasts ... I have no recommendations this week. I listened to 10% Happier, Here's the Thing, and Armchair Expert but nothing stood out as mentionable. That's how I know I need to switch over to listen to Audible for awhile. Sometimes the guests on these podcasts are people I am just not interested in hearing. Would love to know if you have a favorite podcast you would recommend in the comments below.
Eating ... I am still doing the 31 Day Oatmeal Challenge. But in full disclosure, I did not eat oatmeal this morning. I am housesitting and although they have oatmeal in the cupboard, I didn't have the other things that I like to go with it. I'm remedying that today so I can have oatmeal the next 3 mornings. It may seem like a silly challenge but it helps me stay on the right path to good diet.
This week ... My car is going into the shop tomorrow for a warning light that needs investigated. Dog sitting. Continued clean up and repairs at my house.
Favorite thing ... I've been through a couple pair of ear phones because I have a hard time finding the most comfortable ones. I finally found the perfect set and I would genuinely be upset if I lost these. I'm glad I photographed them so if I ever do lose them, I should be able to replace them. I'm the biggest creature of habit so I put them in the same place when I'm not using them. Still, I am surprised I still have these after a year plus of owning them. They are on my Top 10 list of favorite things.
Embracing ... I have been a volcano lately due to some unmet expectations of other people. I am not embracing the anger but I am using it to power through some hard conversations. I am not comfortable when I am mad but it gets me off the passive side of things and into action. Ugh. I don't know where the middle ground is in all of it. Just call me passive aggressive and that would be accurate. Oh, well.
Quote ... “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
Mark Twain

Monday, August 5, 2019


Outside my window ... over here in eastern Washington it's a little darker each day. I am someone who notices these things on a molecular basis. Clear blue skies and hot temps make me smile. Remember last week I said maybe we wouldn't go to the hundreds this summer? I lied. This week:  102, 105, 105, 97, 92.  I love it!
Pondering ... I learned a new phrase last week that I've been saying a lot since I heard it. Get off zero. I wrote a longer post about it but haven't finished it yet. The gist is that with anything that I want to accomplish or move forward on, I must first get off zero. Move. Take action. Or kill the idea. Simply get off zero.
Watching ... I'm slowly watching episodes of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. It has been too nice outside to spend any time sitting in a chair but I try to watch at least one episode every day. It's hard to do after a long day ... once I sit or lay down, I am out.
Reading ... I am back into my book called Bright Line Eating by Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD. I am on day 5 of this eating plan after a year of falling off the wagon. Long story short, when I cut out the sugar and flour completely from my plate, I suffer zero cravings for sugar. The science behind it is fascinating. I am tired of being a slave to sugar.
Podcasts ... I loved an episode of 10% Happier with Dan Harris where he interviews a father of a teenage girl who committed suicide a year ago. I enjoyed listening to his discussion of coping skills he has used to survive. Warning: it is sad. You can listen to it here. The father has started a blog you can find here. We need to keep the conversations about mental health. This father has zero clues his daughter was depressed.
Eating ... oatmeal every day in August in an effort to get back to a life of automaticity in my diet. Today is Day 5 back on Bright Line Eating and I feel so much better. Bloat is gone. Cravings for sugar is gone. Foggy head gone. Three pounds gone. The struggle is gone. Gone, gone, gone.
This week ... I have a doctor appointment and breakfast on Wednesday with the retirement group. That is all for scheduled events. Love that.
Favorite things ... my Fitbit is on my list of Top 10 favorite things. My kids gave it to me for my birthday 3 years ago and I have gone less than 10 days out of a 1,000+ without wearing it. We are in two competitions every week for most steps. One is called the Workweek Hustle and the other is called Weekend Warrior. It clips onto my bra during the day and at night I clip it to my nightshirt so if I get up to pee I won't miss out on counting those steps. It syncs up with the app on my phone so my kids know I am alive and walking. I've said it before, sayin' it again ... the Fitbit has been a game changer for me.
Embracing ... change.  There are many changes coming up soon and instead of dreading them, I am choosing to embrace them. Embracing change lets me be in control of it.
Quote ... Get off zero!
How about you? What's happening currently in your life?
love, susan

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Currently: Go Take a Sunday Drive

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW ... Clear blue skies here in Eastern Washington. Temp numbers this week are impressive: 95, 98, 94, 93, and 99. Not sure we've hit 100° yet this summer and quite possibly won't.
PONDERING ... I learned a valuable lesson at dog class Monday night. There is such a thing called "extinction burst", which my dog exhibits on a regular basis. The short of it is that if she doesn't get what she wants with her bad behavior, she amps up the behavior until it works for her. Kind of like children do when they are not getting their way. I always give in to it because a) she is very annoying, b) it is extremely embarrassing behavior, c) I didn't know better. I am very excited to put to the test the things I learned at class. If you have small children with behavior problems, you might be interested in doing a little research on extinction burst. I'm no expert but I can see where it is a match of wits and who is going to win. Give me a challenge any day of the week!
WATCHING ... While dog sitting last weekend, I started watching Orange is the New Black. I know I am late to the game watching this series but I have a personal rule that I will only watch one series at a time. I am into the second season now. I like the characters and how the series goes back to where these prison women came from, how they got there. It has heart.
PODCASTS ... My favorite story this week has been on Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing and his interview with reporter Julie Brown regarding the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. It will make you shake your head and wonder how such atrocities toward young girls was allowed to go on so long. If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now ... I love Alec Baldwin's interview skills. He's got a great voice and if he is opinionated about something, he doesn't force it in your ears. I also really like this episode on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations When You Know Better, You Do Better. It was a good one.
EATING ... So, I am starting a challenge beginning tomorrow for the entire month of August to eat oatmeal for breakfast every single day. You may think this is extreme but it really isn't. Oatmeal is almost a perfect food, in my opinion and research. One of my doctors practically begged me years ago to start eating oatmeal to help lower my cholesterol. I'm there now. Wanna join me in this challenge?
THIS WEEK ... This is the first day I've really been home since last Wednesday. I have zero on my calendar for the rest of this week but plenty of things to do. It's only 10:30am as I write this and I already have my 10K steps on my Fitbit. The plumber came yesterday and fixed a problem in our kitchen and now I am able to use my dishwasher for the first time in about 7 years. We're attending a celebration of life on Saturday for a mutual friend of many. I typically don't go to such events but after talking with my travel buddy extensively about attending funerals and celebrations of life, I will go with a different mindset. I like the idea of laughing and hugging with our many mutual friends. I want to go on record right here, right now that I don't want a service or celebration of life when I die, okay? Go take a Sunday in my honor. That's what I'd want. Just sayin'.
FAVORITE THINGS ... I've been wearing my Doghouse sweatshirt a lot lately. When you live in a place where there is a/c on in every building you go into, you really need to carry a long sleeved shirt or in my case, a sweatshirt. I not only love this one because my friend T gave it to me, it is good quality and it goes with everything. T and I know a lot of people in common and every time I wear it, they want one. I think she ought to sell them! This is one piece of clothing I would grab if my house caught on fire.
EMBRACING ... One of my tribe asked me why I walk so fast (in dog training). I quipped that I am 60 years old and I got stuff to do before I die. She thinks I should slow down a titch, especially when my dog is at the end of my lead. This is not easy for me but I'm going to try to embrace that feedback and see if it serves me to take it down a notch. I'll get back to you on that.

“When someone shows you who they are,
believe them the first time.”
Maya Angelou
love, susan

Monday, July 22, 2019

Currently: Summer is Half Over

Newest intake to rescue. He is paralyzed in his back
two legs. Sweet, sweet disposition!
Currently is a weekly update of what's happening on the home front. A little of this and a little of that.  

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW...  This morning we had thunder, lightening, and rain. This should make for a very hot and humid afternoon with the numbers this week looking like this:  99, 99, 88, 94, and 98. Hot dog! 

PONDERING... my loss of sleep over a sciatica nerve. I'm fine during the day while I am upright and moving but just after I relax and fall asleep, I have an ache so bad starting on my backside buttock all the way down my leg that it wakes me up. I have had to start sleeping in an "L" shape to get it to subside enough to sleep. Even then. This is a self diagnosis. I'll complain to my doctor the next time I go but I don't see any point in going before my regular yearly physical. And, oh, SUMMER IS HALF WAY OVER. There's that. 

WATCHING... I have been dog sitting all weekend through late today. I have watched the first 2 seasons of The Ranch. Can I just tell you how much I love Sam Elliott and Debra Winger in this series? Some of it reminds me of my upbringing. I wasn't raised on a ranch but the small town references are not lost on me. You can catch this series on Netflix.  

READING... I am listening to Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers on Audible. It is a medically technical book but not so technical that I don't understand it. Basically, I am learning how different hormones affect our health.  

PODCASTS... I added a new-to-me show to my playlist: Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.  Last week I listened to him interview Dax Shepard (who I obviously has a star crush on right now) and Howard Stern. I think I'm going to love this podcast because in just these two interviews I've learned a lot about Conan O'Brien! Did you know he is a Harvard graduate, Magna Cum Laude? I have been hearing Howard Stern a lot on various podcasts and dying to read his book. You may think Mr. Stern is a jerk from his past radio spots but he has many hours of therapy under his belt now and has a lot to say. I believe in second chances, do you?
THIS WEEK... I am finishing up a dog sitting job today and start another one on Wednesday. That gives me tomorrow to be home and taking care of things. I do come home every day for a short visit with the hubs and my dogs when I'm dog sitting for other people. I also need to edit the wedding photos I shot Saturday afternoon and get those to the bride.
FAVORITE THINGS... This fan. I have to sleep with a fan on for both white noise and comfort. When my friend and I did our road trip last month, I threw this and another fan in the rented SUV and we decided we will never travel again without fans. This particular fan throws great air and has the right amount of sound to lull me to sleep. This is on my Top 10 list of things that I'd never live without.

EMBRACING... I am embracing the fact that summer is half over. We typically have a very nice September and I always look forward to that month but I am really enjoying the here and now of today.

I wonder what it would be like to live in a world
where it is always June. 
L.M. Montgomery "Anne of the Island"

Monday, July 15, 2019

Currently: I Am Not Bored


OUTSIDE MY WINDOW... as you can see from this image, we're experiencing some non-blue sky weather. The numbers this week are 86, 89, 89, 89, 85. Still have yet to reach 100°.

PONDERING... I intended to get a birthday card in the mail last week to my friend in Alaska but it never happened. When I finish this post, I'm going to write a long email, hopefully to make up for the fact I failed at sending a card. I used to be so diligent about sending cards.

WATCHING... Over the weekend, I dog sat for friends and watched Netflix. I watched a couple movies but I'll be darned if I can remember the titles. I also watched several episodes of The Ranch. Loved it. I need to watch it again though because I discovered I started the middle but didn't realize it until I watched the last episode in the 6th season. Not sure what happened there. It is really good but if you are offended by the F word, this series is not for you. 

READING... I did zero reading last week. I spent a lot of time outdoors hoeing up weeds and listening to podcasts.

PODCASTS... I listen to about 10 hours of podcasts every week while I'm walking my dogs. I'll leave you my favorite episode that maybe you'll want to check out. This morning I was "wowed" by a 25 minute talk on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations. The episode is called Pastor John Gray: The Bridge. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a religious person by any means at all but I am a very open-minded, loving human being who loves love and I love the language of love. This talk is soooooo good, I highly recommend it if you just need a warm fuzzy today. Here is the link to  SuperSoul Conversations. I use the Stitcher app on my phone but if you have an iPod, I believe there is a podcast app that comes with your phone that will get you there. P.S. I may have liked this particular episode because Oprah didn't speak a word in it.  

THIS WEEK… There are a couple of days with nothing on the calendar but it likely won't stay that way. Today, I am going to photograph a new dog socialization class that is doing a trial run. Tonight, Remi and I have dog class. Later this week, I am dog sitting for a friend. In between, I'll be doing more clean up on an area that has been neglected. I have not been bored even one minute since I retired.

FAVORITE THINGS... I stopped at my favorite thrift store downtown as they had a 50% off sign and I physically could not drive past it without going in. I almost squealed when I found these hardly-worn Eddie Bauer skorts on the rack in my size for $2! I have the exact same pair already that I live in all summer. These skorts are $65 brand new. You'd squeal too, right? And, don't tell my other dogs, but Remi (pictured here) is my favorite.

EMBRACING... I don't know what I am embracing right at this moment.

A QUOTE TO SHARE... “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” – M.K. Clinton

love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...